With Earth Day fast approaching, 22nd April for those interested, now is the perfect time to start considering the impact your business and office could be having on the environment. Earth Day aims to promote the value of our planet, encouraging people to take steps to protect it. While at times it seems like forces such as climate change are too large for anyone to tackle, it is through a collaborative effort, and everyone making steps to go “greener” that it’s possible to have a positive effect on our collective impact.
It’s not just the large corporations that have a responsibility to protect the environment, all businesses, regardless of size need to understand ways they can minimise the negative effects they have on the planet. What follows are 6 tips, containing practical steps you can take to make your office more eco-friendly.
Be Conscious of Your Electricity Usage
Offices use huge amounts of power with computers, printers, photocopiers and of course, lighting. Turning these off at the end of the day is not only environmentally friendly; it will also save you money. It shouldn’t just be down to you however, to really make a difference you must enact cultural change, so every staff member is responsible for turning off their equipment.
Recycle, Recycle and Recycle
Landfill and incineration are two huge problems for the environment which is why we should be reusing or recycling as many items as possible. Install recycling bins in the office so that rubbish can be separated, you can even launch initiatives to increase participation. As well as recycling the waste from the office, you can also source recycled office supplies such as paper and pens.
Change Eating Habits
Whilst it may not be possible to change where everyone buys their food from, you can make a difference by changing the way you buy food for meetings. Think about the food miles your choices have travelled and if possible, try and use local suppliers to minimise these miles. It can even be worth having ‘vegetarian days’ to reduce the amount of meat eaten in the office – meat production is a major factor in climate change so such little initiatives are well worthwhile.
Choose Smarter Lighting
Lighting technology has advanced significantly in the last decade so a great way to make your office greener is to utilise more energy efficient lighting. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) are a good choice, they may cost you a bit more at the outset but with savings of up to 75% in energy usage, they are an economical and environmentally sound solution.
Look for the Energy Star
Energy Star products are certified to use less energy and as such are worth looking for when buying new or replacement equipment. An easily spottable label lets you know that the product qualifies, making it easy to find equipment that helps protect the environment.
The paperless office has for a long time been heralded, but in many cases has not quite come to fruition. Using email naturally helps in reducing paper usage and minimising printing will also help. You may however want to take it a step further and invest in an electronic document management system. These systems digitise documents as soon as the come into the business, distributing them electronically and hence minimising the amount of paper required by the business. For a forward looking business, they are one of the best ways to become more eco-friendly.
These are just some of the ways that you can make your office and business more environmentally friendly. Ultimately, if you look at ways to make your operations more sustainable and enact a cultural change so that your staff members are thinking about the environment, then you are making positive steps towards being greener.
Neopost are a global supplier of mailroom equipment, providing businesses with end to end mailing solutions from franking machines to document management systems and folder inserters.